The Incredible (and Little Known) Way Perfume Can Make You More Attractive
Why do we wear perfume? To smell nice, of course. But is there something more to it? Research teams have spent years trying to work out exactly why it is that we like to wear perfume, and whether or not the kind of scent we decide to spritz on ourselves has an affect on a potential mate.
Turns out, there is something more "natural" about why we wear scent. Delve into this fragrant world, and you'll discover it's very much to do with your DNA.
Everyone has a major histocompatibility complex (MHC), which are the genes that map out the immune system (stick with us here, it's worth it). When hunting out a mate, we look for someone who has different MHC genes from us, as it should mean any offspring will be better equipped at fighting disease.
In a study called the Sweaty T-Shirts and Human Mate Choice (catchy, no?), men were asked to wear a T-shirt without cologne or any other strong-smelling odours. Women were then asked to smell the T-shirts and say which one they preferred. Women preferred the smell of T-shirts that had been worn by men whose MHC genes were appropriately different from her own.
Even more interestingly, in another experiment, women tended to wear the kind of perfume that mimicked their own scent, therefore advertising their MHC genes to prospective mates. So what does that mean for us and how we decide on our own fragrance? Pick the scent that suits our MHC, and we'll be much more likely to find our perfect partner.
"With these studies, it's not exactly something you can replicate. There is a thought, however, about wearing a fragrance that means you smell more like yourself. This is why the molecule perfumes, such as Escentric Molecules Molecule 1 (£27) do so well. Iso E Super, a main ingredient, essentially helps you smell more like you, as it acts as a booster for your personal scent. And it works for everybody.”
But say you don't want to wear a one-molecule perfume, how can you ensure that you’re wearing a fragrance that’s just as guaranteed to make you feel and smell more attractive? Essentially make sure you’ve found a scent that you love.
Keep scrolling for Gilbert's step-by-step guide to finding the right fragrance for you.
"Before you go shopping find out what you like. Think of a perfume you love already, and then find out what its base notes are on basenotes.net's fragrance directory. This will give you notes for the fragrance you like and things you should be sniffing."
"The next step is going into a shop. If you’re in a department store ignore everyone. It’s better to go into a boutique, they’ll be able to listen to you more."
"Then just sniff stuff! Then spray the stuff, get it on your skin, walk away and then think about it. Have a coffee—make some thoughts about it. Do you like it? Do you think that it suits you? Because sometimes you might like it but know that it’s not right for you."
"Always, always, always shop alone. If you go with a friend, they’ll have the best intentions but they’ll have different tastes to you. Trust your own judgement."
"Get a sample if you can. You need to live with it for a while, because otherwise you won't know if it suits you."
"A truly great sign of a well-suited perfume is if you can’t smell it on yourself."
How do you find your perfume? And do you feel more attractive with some on? Tell us in the comments!